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  1. 2015 Presidential Address: Sometimes the Social Becomes Personal: Gender, Class, and Sexualities

    All sociologists recognize that social constraints affect individuals’ outcomes. These effects are sometimes relatively direct. Other times constraints affect outcomes indirectly, first influencing individuals’ personal characteristics, which then affect their outcomes. In the latter case, the social becomes personal, and personal characteristics that are carried across situations (e.g., skills, habits, identities, worldviews, preferences, or values) affect individuals’ outcomes. I argue here for the importance of both direct and indirect effects of constraints on outcomes.

  2. The Role of Gender, Class, and Religion in Biracial Americans Racial Labeling Decisions

    Racial attachments are understood to be socially constructed and endogenous to gender, socioeconomic, and religious identities. Yet we know surprisingly little about the effect of such identities on the particular racial labels that individuals self-select. In this article, I investigate how social identities shape the racial labels chosen by biracial individuals in the United States, a rapidly growing population who have multiple labeling options.

  3. Internal Wars, Taxation, and State Building

    This article addresses the question of whether and how internal wars can lead to state building. I offer a new conceptual framework for understanding the varied effects of internal conflict on state capacity, as measured through taxation. Contrary to the general scholarly consensus that internal wars make states fail, I hypothesize that like external wars, internal wars can lead to increased taxation when they enhance solidarity toward the state among the elite and motivate the state to strengthen and territorially expand the tax administration.

  4. Prayers, Protest, and Police: How Religion Influences Police Presence at Collective Action Events in the United States, 1960 to 1995

    Do police treat religious-based protest events differently than secular ones? Drawing on data from more than 15,000 protest events in the United States (1960 to 1995) and using quantitative methods, we find that law enforcement agents were less likely to show up at protests when general religious actors, actions, or organizations were present. Rather than reflecting privileged legitimacy, we find that this protective effect is explained by religious protesters’ use of less threatening tactics at events.

  5. Elements of Professional Expertise: Understanding Relational and Substantive Expertise through Lawyers' Impact

    Lawyers keep the gates of public justice institutions, particularly through their roles in formal procedures like hearings and trials. Yet, it is not clear what lawyers do in such quintessentially legal settings: conclusions from past research are bedeviled by a lack of clear theory and inconsistencies in research design. Conceptualizing litigation work in terms of professional expertise, I conduct a theoretically grounded synthesis of the findings of extant studies of lawyers’ impact on civil case outcomes.

  6. "No Fracking Way!" Documentary Film, Discursive Opportunity, and Local Opposition against Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States, 2010 to 2013

    Recent scholarship highlights the importance of public discourse for the mobilization and impact of social movements, but it neglects how cultural products may shift discourse and thereby influence mobilization and political outcomes. This study investigates how activism against hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") utilized cultural artifacts to influence public perceptions and effect change. A systematic analysis of Internet search data, social media postings, and newspaper articles allows us to identify how the documentary Gasland reshaped public discourse.

  7. What Does Self-rated Health Mean? Changes and Variations in the Association of Obesity with Objective and Subjective Components Of Self-rated Health

    There are concerns about the meaning of self-rated health (SRH) and the factors individuals consider. To illustrate how SRH is contextualized, we examine how the obesity–SRH association varies across age, periods, and cohorts. We decompose SRH into subjective and objective components and use a mechanism-based age–period–cohort model approach with four decades (1970s to 2000s) and five birth cohorts of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data (N = 26,184).

  8. Marital Histories and Heavy Alcohol Use among Older Adults

    We develop a gendered marital biography approach—which emphasizes the accumulating gendered experiences of singlehood, marriage, marital dissolution, and remarriage—to examine the relationship between marital statuses and transitions and heavy alcohol use. We test this approach using individual-level (n = 10,457) and couple-level (n = 2,170) longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study, and individual-level (n = 46) and couple-level (n = 42) in-depth interview data.

  9. Religious Attendance and the Mobility Trajectories of Older Mexican Americans: An Application of the Growth Mixture Model

    Although several studies have examined the association between religious involvement and physical functioning, there is no consistent empirical evidence concerning the true nature of the association. The Hispanic population is also surprisingly understudied in previous work. In this article, we employ seven waves of data from the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly to examine the association between religious attendance and performance-based mobility trajectories among older Mexican Americans.

  10. Health Assimilation among Hispanic Immigrants in the United States: The Impact of Ignoring Arrival-cohort Effects

    A large literature has documented that Hispanic immigrants have a health advantage over their U.S.-born counterparts upon arrival in the United States. Few studies, however, have disentangled the effects of immigrants’ arrival cohort from their tenure of U.S. residence, an omission that could produce imprecise estimates of the degree of health decline experienced by Hispanic immigrants as their U.S. tenure increases.